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Hum Genet. 1981;58(1):59-63.

Early stages of testicular differentiation in the rat.


The initial phases of the development of the seminiferous cords (future seminiferous tubules) were studied with histological techniques and with electron microscopy. On day 14 after fertilization, seminiferous cords are well differentiated in the anterior part of the testis near the mesonephric tubules. They comprise Sertoli cells which encompass the primordial germ cells. The Sertoli cells shows an expanded clear cytoplasm and microfilaments beneath the outer surface; they differentiate complex contact zones. On day 13 a few cells localized near the mesonephric tubules display the characteristics of the Sertoli cells. These cells become more and more numerous. They aggregate and they form the seminiferous cords. The primordia of male gonads explanted in vitro on the mesonephros, realize testicular organogenesis in a synthetic medium. Adding 15% fetal calf serum to the medium prevents the morphogenesis of the testicular cords, although the Sertoli cells seem to differentiate morphologically and physiologically. In these gonads differentiation of the Sertoli cells was obtained but their aggregation and the morphogenesis of the seminiferous cords were prevented. This gives new insights into testicular morphogenesis and probably provides an experimental model for a new type of gonadal anomaly.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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